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CCL Rewind: LAFC, Whitecaps roll to first leg victories


LAFC’s hat trick hero Denis Bouanga slotted three second half goals on Thursday night to earn the Black and Gold a convincing Round of 16 first leg win over LD Alajuelense.

The defending MLS Cup winners return to Los Angeles for the second leg next week with a comfortable 3-0 lead on aggregate.

Steve Cherundolo and his side came into the second half guns blazing when defender Ryan Hollingshead and forward Denis Bouanga linked up for two identical goals in the 47th and 70th minutes respectively. The Gabon international ended all hopes of a comeback for the Costa Rican side when he slotted his third goal of the night into the upper right corner of the net in the final minutes of play.

John McCarthy was also stellar for LAFC, registering a five-save clean sheet and rebound from a tough Week 2 performance in league play.

LAFC will next host the New England Revolution in MLS play on Sunday before facing the Costa Rican side with a quarterfinal berth at stake.

Whitecaps 5, Real Espana 0

Vanni Sartini and his Vancouver Whitecaps put on a show at BC Place Wednesday evening demolishing Honduran side Real España 5-0.

Four different players found the back of the net for the Whitecaps, who also benefited from a second-half own goal from Real España’s Devron Garcia in their Concacaf Champions League Round 16 opener.

Defender Tristan Blackmon opened the floodgates half-way through the first half with fellow defender Ryan Raposo scoring the second in the 59th minute of play. Forwards Pedro Vite and Brian White were able to score two insurance goals to ensure a Whitecaps lopsided victory. Canadian international Ryan Raposo earned himself a Man of The Match logging a goal and an assist in the blow-out victory.

After being one of five MLS clubs yet to record a point in regular season play, Sartini hopes the lopsided victory will instill some confidence into his side.

“It does a lot [for our confidence,” Sartini said after the match. “Of course, we were coming from two performances where one was very good, one okay, but we didn’t harvest anything. So, it gives confidence again. It gives a little smile again to everyone.”

The Whitecaps go into the second leg comfortably in the drivers seat as they visit Honduras next week to handle their business and advance into the next round.

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